BETA


2007/2253(INI) Media concentration and pluralism in the EU

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead CULT MIKKO Marianne (icon: PSE PSE)
Committee Opinion ECON CHATZIMARKAKIS Jorgo (icon: ALDE ALDE)
Committee Opinion ITRE BELET Ivo (icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE)
Committee Opinion IMCO
Committee Opinion LIBE HERRERO-TEJEDOR Luis (icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE)
Committee Opinion AFCO
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 52, RoP 52-p4

Events

2008/10/17
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2008/09/25
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2008/09/25
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 307 votes to 262, with 28 abstentions, an alternative joint resolution on concentration and pluralism in the media in the European Union, tabled by the PES, ALDE and Green/EFA groups.

The own-initiative report had been tabled for examination at plenary by Marianne MIKKO (PES, EE) on behalf of the Committee on Culture and Education. However, it was a revised version of the report that was finally adopted in plenary.

The new resolution urges the Commission and the Member States to safeguard media pluralism, to ensure that all EU citizens can access free and diversified media in all Member States and to recommend improvements when needed. Parliament firmly believes, in fact, that a pluralistic media system is an essential requirement for the continued existence of the democratic European social model.

Respect for competition and strengthening the legal framework: Parliament highlights the fact that the concentration of ownership of the media system creates an environment favouring the monopolisation of the advertising market, introduces barriers to the entry of new market players and also leads to uniformity of media content. It also points out that the development of the media system is increasingly driven by profit-making and that, therefore, societal, political or economic processes, or values expressed in journalists' codes of conduct, are not adequately safeguarded. It considers, therefore, that competition law must be interlinked with media law, in order to guarantee access, competition and quality and avoid conflicts of interests between media ownership concentration and political power.

Parliament demands the disclosure of ownership of all media outlets to help achieve greater transparency and that attention is paid to ensuring that national competition legislation on media, internet and communication technologies favours pluralism of the media. It considers that competition legislation must be applied in the media sector and that a maximum must be done to improve the competitiveness of European media groups. In parallel with respect for the principles of free competition, Parliament calls for the balance between public service broadcasting organisations and privately owned broadcasting organisations to be respected.

Parliament also invites the Commission to commit itself to promoting a stable legal framework with a guaranteed high standard of protection of pluralism in all the Member States.

Guaranteeing independence and quality: Members believe that the main objectives of public authorities should be to create conditions that ensure a high level of media quality (including in the public media), secure media diversity and guarantee the full independence of journalists. Moreover, Parliament considers the rules on media concentration should govern not only the ownership and production of media content, but also the (electronic) channels and mechanisms for access to and dissemination of content on the internet. In this regard, the alternative resolution calls for the creation of a charter for media freedom to guarantee freedom of expression and pluralism. It also stresses the need to institute monitoring and implementation systems for media pluralism based on reliable and impartial indicators. Members point to the importance of the creation and uniform application of editorial charters in Member States to prevent owners, shareholders, or outside bodies such as governments, from interfering with news content. A suitable balance among political and social sensibilities, in particular in the context of news and current affairs programmes should be ensured.

New media: while Parliament welcomes the dynamics and diversity brought into the media landscape by the new media and in particular weblogs (blogs) representing a new and important contribution to freedom of expression that is used more and more (both by professionals and individual citizens), their development still needs to be better monitored: Parliament encourages an open discussion on all issues relating to the status of blogs and the protection of copyrights at the level of online media, (with third parties having to mention the source when taking over declarations).

Media education: Members stress that media education should be enhanced to provide citizens with the means of bringing critical interpretation to bear on the ever-growing volume of information being imparted to them. This would also enable citizens to select the most appropriate media by allowing them to exercise their rights to the full where freedom of information and expression is concerned.

Broadcasting licensing and public channels : the alternative resolution calls on the Commission and the Member States to consolidate an objective framework for granting broadcasting licences in the areas of cable and satellite TV and analogue and digital broadcasting markets, on the basis of transparent and fair criteria, to prevent abuses by companies enjoying monopolies or dominant positions. Parliament reminds the Commission that on several occasions, it has been asked to draw up a directive that would aim to ensure pluralism, encourage and preserve cultural diversity, as well as to safeguard access for all media companies to the technical elements that can enable them to reach the public in its entirety. It invites the Member States to support high-quality public broadcasting services which can offer a real alternative to the programmes of commercial channels and can occupy a more high-profile place on the European scene as pillars of the preservation of media pluralism and democratic dialogue with citizens. Cooperation between European regulatory authorities also needs to be enhanced in the broadcasting sector.

Revision of the 2001 communication on state aids: Members call for the revision of the Commission’s 2001 communication concerning the application to public broadcasting services of state aid rules to take due account of the Unesco Convention on cultural diversity and the Recommendation of 31 January 2007 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to Member States on the remit of public service media in the information society. The purpose is to ensure that any proposed measure or clarification is assessed as far as its impact on media pluralism is concerned and duly respects Member States' competences. There is a need to strengthen the role of the public service as an important guarantor of media pluralism in the Union and to enable it to participate freely in technological developments and deriving forms of content production and presentation (in the form of linear and non-linear services). The mandate of public service media should also include appropriate funding of new services.

The issue of the spectrum and frequency allocation in the digital context: the resolution considers for the public audiovisual media to fulfil their task in the era of digital technology, it is necessary for them to develop new information services and media over and above traditional programmes and to be able to interact with every digital network and platform. The European Parliament welcomes the implementation in certain Member States of provisions requiring cable television providers to include state-run channels and to allocate a section of the digital spectrum to public providers. It reiterates that the regulation of spectrum use must take account of public interest objectives such as media pluralism and thus cannot be subjected to a purely market based regime. Member States should, therefore, remain responsible for deciding on frequency allocation to serve the specific needs of their societies in particular with respect to safeguarding and promoting media pluralism. Parliament also calls for a balanced approach to the allocation of the digital dividend to ensure equitable access for all players.

Data protection: MEPs express concern about the dominant position of a few large online players, which restricts new market entrants and thereby stifles creativity and entrepreneurship in this sector. They call for greater transparency with respect to personal data and information on users stored by internet search engines, email providers and social networking sites. They consider that regulation at EU level sufficiently safeguards the accessibility of electronic programme guides and similar overview and navigation facilities, but that further action could be considered to ensure that services of general interest are easily accessible. For this reason, Parliament calls on the Commission to ascertain whether minimal guidelines or sector-specific regulation are needed to safeguard media pluralism.

Documents
2008/09/25
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2008/09/22
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2008/07/10
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2008/07/10
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2008/06/03
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The Committee on Culture and Education adopted the report by Marianne MIKKO (PES, EE) on concentration and pluralism in the media in the European Union, calling on the Commission and the Member States to safeguard this pluralism. In this context, it is important to ensure that all EU citizens can access free and diversified media in all Member States as a pluralistic media system is an essential requirement for the continued existence of the democratic European social model.

Noting that the European media landscape is subject to continuing convergence, MEPs highlight that the concentration of ownership of the media system creates an environment favouring the monopolisation of the advertising market. MEPs regret, in particular, that profit-making is the only determining factor , disregarding the values expressed in journalists' codes of conduct. According to MEPs, a suitable balance must be found between competition and pluralism in the media and between public and private broadcasters.

Maintaining quality and pluralism : according to MEPs, the main objectives of public authorities should be to ensure a high level of media quality (including those of the public media) and to guarantee the full independence of journalists. Measures must therefore be taken to improve the competitiveness of European media concerns and to improve the consistency of application of competition legislation at European and national level.

Indicators to evaluate media pluralism : while MEPs welcome the initiatives on self-regulation, they call for greater safeguards in this area such as the creation of a charter for media freedom to guarantee freedom of expression and pluralism. They therefore stress the need to institute monitoring and implementation systems based on reliable and impartial indicators. In this context, the Commission is called upon to develop specific indicators to evaluate media pluralism and to analyse its orientation as regards democracy, the rule of law, and human and minority rights.

Uniform application of a legal framework : to ensure the independence of journalists and editors, they must be provided with a legal framework and specific legal and social guarantees: MEPs stress, therefore, the importance of creating editorial charters to prevent owners, shareholders, or outside bodies such as governments, from interfering with news content. It is also essential to ensure that all political and social sensibilities are represented, in particular in the context of news and current affairs programs. The Commission is called upon to commit itself to promoting a stable legal framework with a guaranteed high standard of protection of pluralism in all the Member States. It is also called upon to take additional measures, including: the creation of an objective framework for granting broadcasting licences in the areas of cable and satellite TV and analogue and digital broadcasting markets (in order to prevent abuses by companies enjoying monopolies or dominant positions); taking into consideration issues such as commercial misuse of user-generated content. MEPs recall, in this respect, that on several occasions the Commission has been called upon to draw up a directive that would aim to ensure pluralism and preserve cultural diversity. In order to improve transparency in the media, MEPs encourage the disclosure of ownership of all media as well as the background of the broadcaster and publisher.

Functions of public service media : Member States are called upon to support their public service broadcasters: these must maintain a high-quality reputation, offer an alternative to commercial channels, play the card of journalistic pluralism and enable democratic dialogue with all citizens. MEPs recommend, in particular, that the regulations governing state aid be devised and implemented in a way that enables the public services and community media to fulfil their function in a dynamic environment, while ensuring that public service media carry out their function in a transparent and accountable manner, avoiding the abuse of public funding for reasons of political or economic expediency . MEPs also suggest the creation of independent media ombudsmen or comparable institutions in the Member States in which they do not already exist.

Codes of conduct : MEPs suggest that, for private-user-generated content in commercial publications and channels, ethical codes of conduct and terms of usage should be encouraged and royalties, commensurate with its commercial value, should be introduced.

New media : MEPs welcome the diversity brought into the media landscape by the new media, such as mobile TV. However, they ask for clarification regarding the status of weblogs and remuneration for the commercial use of user-generated content, assimilating them for legal purposes with any other form of public expression. They also support the protection of copyrights at the level of online media, the third parties having to mention the source when taking over declarations. In order to ensure that traditional forms of media do not lose out in an evolving media environment, MEPs call on public media to develop new services, including digital.

Online players and data protection : MEPs are concerned about the dominance of a few large online players. They therefore call for greater transparency with respect to personal data and information kept on users by Internet search engines, email providers and social networking sites. They call on the Commission to reflect on this issue and to draw up minimal guidelines or a sector-specific regulation to safeguard media pluralism online. In any event, competition rules should also apply to online media. New media also raise ethical issues: that is why the Commission is called upon to take into consideration the issues arising from the unethical usage and commercial misuse of user-generated content.

Promoting cultural diversity : MEPs call for media content to also reflect European regional diversity. In addition, they call on the Commission to take due account of the Unesco Convention on cultural diversity when making a decision about the need to revise the EC Broadcasting Communication.

Media literacy : MEPs recommend the inclusion of media literacy among the European key competences. Media education should, in fact, enable citizens to critically interpret the content proposed to them. The Commission should pay greater attention to standards of critical content assessment.

Spectrum and allocation of the digital dividend : lastly, MEPs reiterate that the regulation of spectrum use must take account of public interest objectives such as media pluralism and thus cannot be subjected to a purely market based regime. They call, in particular, for a balanced approach to the allocation of the digital dividend to ensure equitable access for all players.

2008/05/06
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2008/04/22
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2008/04/15
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2008/04/09
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2008/03/07
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2008/01/31
   EP - HERRERO-TEJEDOR Luis (PPE-DE) appointed as rapporteur in LIBE
2007/11/29
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2007/06/26
   EP - BELET Ivo (PPE-DE) appointed as rapporteur in ITRE
2007/06/19
   EP - CHATZIMARKAKIS Jorgo (ALDE) appointed as rapporteur in ECON
2007/01/16
   EC - Non-legislative basic document published
Details

PURPOSE: to provide an overview of the economic and legal reality of today's European media landscape with a view to protecting media pluralism.

BACKGROUND: the media face radical changes and restructuring due to new technology and global competition. Maintaining media pluralism is crucial for the democratic process in the Member States and in the European Union as a whole.

Responding to continuing concerns from the European Parliament and non-governmental organisations about media concentration, and its possible effects on pluralism and freedom of expression, the Commission presents a three-step approach on media pluralism in the European Union.

The three steps set out by Commissioner Reding and Vice-President Wallström, responsible for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, follows suggestions made at the Liverpool Audiovisual Conference in 2005, and indicates how this politically-sensitive issue should proceed.

Already the new Directive "Audiovisual Media Services Without Frontiers” (see COD/2005/0260 ) contributes to media pluralism in this respect. In particular, it would oblige Member States to guarantee that their national regulatory authorities are independent from their national governments and audiovisual media service providers.

CONTENT: In the 'Reding-Wallström' approach, the notion of media pluralism is much broader than media ownership. It covers access to varied information so citizens can form opinions without being influenced by one dominant source. Citizens also need transparent mechanisms that guarantee that the media are seen as genuinely independent.

The 'Reding-Wallström' approach has three steps :

A Commission Staff Working Paper on Media Pluralism : it outlines efforts to promote pluralism by third parties and organisations, notably the essential work undertaken by the Council of Europe, and has a concise first survey of Member States' audiovisual and print media markets. This baseline analysis also includes information on national media ownership regulations and the very diverse regulatory models of the 27 Member States; An independent study on media pluralism in EU Member States to define and test concrete and objective indicators for assessing media pluralism in the EU Member States (in 2007); A Commission Communication on the indicators for media pluralism in the EU Member States (in 2008) , on which a broad public consultation will take place. This could lead to an evaluation of the opportunity for applying the media pluralism indicators, for example through a further study.

Throughout the whole process, the Commissioners’ Group on Fundamental Rights, as well as the European Parliament and Council will be kept informed about the progress made.

2006/09/11
   EP - MIKKO Marianne (PSE) appointed as rapporteur in CULT

Documents

Activities

Votes

Rapport Mikko A6-0303/2008 - am. 5

2008/09/25 Outcome: +: 307, -: 262, 0: 28
FR NL PT BE ES DK GB FI EE EL AT LV LT IT CY MT BG LU SI DE SK RO HU IE CZ SE PL
Total
59
24
15
20
39
11
64
12
6
18
14
5
7
42
6
4
11
5
6
77
13
28
20
9
21
14
47
icon: PSE PSE
166

Estonia PSE

3

Lithuania PSE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PSE

For (1)

1

Slovakia PSE

2

Ireland PSE

1

Czechia PSE

For (1)

1

Sweden PSE

3
icon: ALDE ALDE
71

Spain ALDE

2

Denmark ALDE

3

Estonia ALDE

2

Latvia ALDE

1

Cyprus ALDE

For (1)

1

Bulgaria ALDE

1

Slovenia ALDE

2
2

Ireland ALDE

Abstain (1)

1

Sweden ALDE

Abstain (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
36

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Spain Verts/ALE

2

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Italy Verts/ALE

2

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Romania Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
29

France GUE/NGL

2

Netherlands GUE/NGL

2

Portugal GUE/NGL

3

Denmark GUE/NGL

1

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Greece GUE/NGL

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2

Sweden GUE/NGL

2
icon: NI NI
21

Belgium NI

3

United Kingdom NI

Abstain (1)

5

Austria NI

1

Italy NI

Abstain (1)

1

Czechia NI

Against (1)

1
2
icon: IND/DEM IND/DEM
13

Netherlands IND/DEM

2

Denmark IND/DEM

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom IND/DEM

4

Ireland IND/DEM

Against (1)

1

Czechia IND/DEM

Against (1)

1

Sweden IND/DEM

Against (1)

1

Poland IND/DEM

3
icon: UEN UEN
30

Denmark UEN

Against (1)

1

Latvia UEN

2

Lithuania UEN

Against (1)

1

Ireland UEN

3
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
231

Netherlands PPE-DE

Against (1)

5

Portugal PPE-DE

Against (1)

2

Finland PPE-DE

3

Estonia PPE-DE

Against (1)

1

Latvia PPE-DE

Against (1)

1

Lithuania PPE-DE

Against (1)

2

Cyprus PPE-DE

3

Malta PPE-DE

Against (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

Slovenia PPE-DE

4

Ireland PPE-DE

3
AmendmentsDossier
297 2007/2253(INI)
2008/03/18 ITRE 15 amendments...
source: PE-404.516
2008/04/01 ECON 10 amendments...
source: PE-404.616
2008/04/07 LIBE 30 amendments...
source: PE-404.672
2008/04/15 CULT 242 amendments...
source: PE-404.709

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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commission
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opinion
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committees/5
body
EP
responsible
False
committee
LIBE
date
2008-01-31T00:00:00
committee_full
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
rapporteur
group: PPE-DE name: HERRERO-TEJEDOR Luis
docs
  • date: 2008-03-07T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE402.864 title: PE402.864 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2008-04-09T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE400.630&secondRef=02 title: PE400.630 committee: ECON type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2008-04-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE404.709 title: PE404.709 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2008-04-22T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE392.165&secondRef=02 title: PE392.165 committee: ITRE type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2008-05-06T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE402.584&secondRef=02 title: PE402.584 committee: LIBE type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2008-07-10T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2008-303&language=EN title: A6-0303/2008 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP
  • date: 2008-10-17T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=15362&j=0&l=en title: SP(2008)6073 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
events
  • date: 2007-01-16T00:00:00 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/sec/2007/0032/COM_SEC(2007)0032_EN.pdf title: SEC(2007)0032 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=SECfinal&an_doc=2007&nu_doc=32 title: EUR-Lex summary: PURPOSE: to provide an overview of the economic and legal reality of today's European media landscape with a view to protecting media pluralism. BACKGROUND: the media face radical changes and restructuring due to new technology and global competition. Maintaining media pluralism is crucial for the democratic process in the Member States and in the European Union as a whole. Responding to continuing concerns from the European Parliament and non-governmental organisations about media concentration, and its possible effects on pluralism and freedom of expression, the Commission presents a three-step approach on media pluralism in the European Union. The three steps set out by Commissioner Reding and Vice-President Wallström, responsible for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, follows suggestions made at the Liverpool Audiovisual Conference in 2005, and indicates how this politically-sensitive issue should proceed. Already the new Directive "Audiovisual Media Services Without Frontiers” (see COD/2005/0260 ) contributes to media pluralism in this respect. In particular, it would oblige Member States to guarantee that their national regulatory authorities are independent from their national governments and audiovisual media service providers. CONTENT: In the 'Reding-Wallström' approach, the notion of media pluralism is much broader than media ownership. It covers access to varied information so citizens can form opinions without being influenced by one dominant source. Citizens also need transparent mechanisms that guarantee that the media are seen as genuinely independent. The 'Reding-Wallström' approach has three steps : A Commission Staff Working Paper on Media Pluralism : it outlines efforts to promote pluralism by third parties and organisations, notably the essential work undertaken by the Council of Europe, and has a concise first survey of Member States' audiovisual and print media markets. This baseline analysis also includes information on national media ownership regulations and the very diverse regulatory models of the 27 Member States; An independent study on media pluralism in EU Member States to define and test concrete and objective indicators for assessing media pluralism in the EU Member States (in 2007); A Commission Communication on the indicators for media pluralism in the EU Member States (in 2008) , on which a broad public consultation will take place. This could lead to an evaluation of the opportunity for applying the media pluralism indicators, for example through a further study. Throughout the whole process, the Commissioners’ Group on Fundamental Rights, as well as the European Parliament and Council will be kept informed about the progress made.
  • date: 2007-11-29T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2008-06-03T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP summary: The Committee on Culture and Education adopted the report by Marianne MIKKO (PES, EE) on concentration and pluralism in the media in the European Union, calling on the Commission and the Member States to safeguard this pluralism. In this context, it is important to ensure that all EU citizens can access free and diversified media in all Member States as a pluralistic media system is an essential requirement for the continued existence of the democratic European social model. Noting that the European media landscape is subject to continuing convergence, MEPs highlight that the concentration of ownership of the media system creates an environment favouring the monopolisation of the advertising market. MEPs regret, in particular, that profit-making is the only determining factor , disregarding the values expressed in journalists' codes of conduct. According to MEPs, a suitable balance must be found between competition and pluralism in the media and between public and private broadcasters. Maintaining quality and pluralism : according to MEPs, the main objectives of public authorities should be to ensure a high level of media quality (including those of the public media) and to guarantee the full independence of journalists. Measures must therefore be taken to improve the competitiveness of European media concerns and to improve the consistency of application of competition legislation at European and national level. Indicators to evaluate media pluralism : while MEPs welcome the initiatives on self-regulation, they call for greater safeguards in this area such as the creation of a charter for media freedom to guarantee freedom of expression and pluralism. They therefore stress the need to institute monitoring and implementation systems based on reliable and impartial indicators. In this context, the Commission is called upon to develop specific indicators to evaluate media pluralism and to analyse its orientation as regards democracy, the rule of law, and human and minority rights. Uniform application of a legal framework : to ensure the independence of journalists and editors, they must be provided with a legal framework and specific legal and social guarantees: MEPs stress, therefore, the importance of creating editorial charters to prevent owners, shareholders, or outside bodies such as governments, from interfering with news content. It is also essential to ensure that all political and social sensibilities are represented, in particular in the context of news and current affairs programs. The Commission is called upon to commit itself to promoting a stable legal framework with a guaranteed high standard of protection of pluralism in all the Member States. It is also called upon to take additional measures, including: the creation of an objective framework for granting broadcasting licences in the areas of cable and satellite TV and analogue and digital broadcasting markets (in order to prevent abuses by companies enjoying monopolies or dominant positions); taking into consideration issues such as commercial misuse of user-generated content. MEPs recall, in this respect, that on several occasions the Commission has been called upon to draw up a directive that would aim to ensure pluralism and preserve cultural diversity. In order to improve transparency in the media, MEPs encourage the disclosure of ownership of all media as well as the background of the broadcaster and publisher. Functions of public service media : Member States are called upon to support their public service broadcasters: these must maintain a high-quality reputation, offer an alternative to commercial channels, play the card of journalistic pluralism and enable democratic dialogue with all citizens. MEPs recommend, in particular, that the regulations governing state aid be devised and implemented in a way that enables the public services and community media to fulfil their function in a dynamic environment, while ensuring that public service media carry out their function in a transparent and accountable manner, avoiding the abuse of public funding for reasons of political or economic expediency . MEPs also suggest the creation of independent media ombudsmen or comparable institutions in the Member States in which they do not already exist. Codes of conduct : MEPs suggest that, for private-user-generated content in commercial publications and channels, ethical codes of conduct and terms of usage should be encouraged and royalties, commensurate with its commercial value, should be introduced. New media : MEPs welcome the diversity brought into the media landscape by the new media, such as mobile TV. However, they ask for clarification regarding the status of weblogs and remuneration for the commercial use of user-generated content, assimilating them for legal purposes with any other form of public expression. They also support the protection of copyrights at the level of online media, the third parties having to mention the source when taking over declarations. In order to ensure that traditional forms of media do not lose out in an evolving media environment, MEPs call on public media to develop new services, including digital. Online players and data protection : MEPs are concerned about the dominance of a few large online players. They therefore call for greater transparency with respect to personal data and information kept on users by Internet search engines, email providers and social networking sites. They call on the Commission to reflect on this issue and to draw up minimal guidelines or a sector-specific regulation to safeguard media pluralism online. In any event, competition rules should also apply to online media. New media also raise ethical issues: that is why the Commission is called upon to take into consideration the issues arising from the unethical usage and commercial misuse of user-generated content. Promoting cultural diversity : MEPs call for media content to also reflect European regional diversity. In addition, they call on the Commission to take due account of the Unesco Convention on cultural diversity when making a decision about the need to revise the EC Broadcasting Communication. Media literacy : MEPs recommend the inclusion of media literacy among the European key competences. Media education should, in fact, enable citizens to critically interpret the content proposed to them. The Commission should pay greater attention to standards of critical content assessment. Spectrum and allocation of the digital dividend : lastly, MEPs reiterate that the regulation of spectrum use must take account of public interest objectives such as media pluralism and thus cannot be subjected to a purely market based regime. They call, in particular, for a balanced approach to the allocation of the digital dividend to ensure equitable access for all players.
  • date: 2008-07-10T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2008-303&language=EN title: A6-0303/2008
  • date: 2008-09-22T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20080922&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2008-09-25T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=15362&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2008-09-25T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2008-459 title: T6-0459/2008 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 307 votes to 262, with 28 abstentions, an alternative joint resolution on concentration and pluralism in the media in the European Union, tabled by the PES, ALDE and Green/EFA groups. The own-initiative report had been tabled for examination at plenary by Marianne MIKKO (PES, EE) on behalf of the Committee on Culture and Education. However, it was a revised version of the report that was finally adopted in plenary. The new resolution urges the Commission and the Member States to safeguard media pluralism, to ensure that all EU citizens can access free and diversified media in all Member States and to recommend improvements when needed. Parliament firmly believes, in fact, that a pluralistic media system is an essential requirement for the continued existence of the democratic European social model. Respect for competition and strengthening the legal framework: Parliament highlights the fact that the concentration of ownership of the media system creates an environment favouring the monopolisation of the advertising market, introduces barriers to the entry of new market players and also leads to uniformity of media content. It also points out that the development of the media system is increasingly driven by profit-making and that, therefore, societal, political or economic processes, or values expressed in journalists' codes of conduct, are not adequately safeguarded. It considers, therefore, that competition law must be interlinked with media law, in order to guarantee access, competition and quality and avoid conflicts of interests between media ownership concentration and political power. Parliament demands the disclosure of ownership of all media outlets to help achieve greater transparency and that attention is paid to ensuring that national competition legislation on media, internet and communication technologies favours pluralism of the media. It considers that competition legislation must be applied in the media sector and that a maximum must be done to improve the competitiveness of European media groups. In parallel with respect for the principles of free competition, Parliament calls for the balance between public service broadcasting organisations and privately owned broadcasting organisations to be respected. Parliament also invites the Commission to commit itself to promoting a stable legal framework with a guaranteed high standard of protection of pluralism in all the Member States. Guaranteeing independence and quality: Members believe that the main objectives of public authorities should be to create conditions that ensure a high level of media quality (including in the public media), secure media diversity and guarantee the full independence of journalists. Moreover, Parliament considers the rules on media concentration should govern not only the ownership and production of media content, but also the (electronic) channels and mechanisms for access to and dissemination of content on the internet. In this regard, the alternative resolution calls for the creation of a charter for media freedom to guarantee freedom of expression and pluralism. It also stresses the need to institute monitoring and implementation systems for media pluralism based on reliable and impartial indicators. Members point to the importance of the creation and uniform application of editorial charters in Member States to prevent owners, shareholders, or outside bodies such as governments, from interfering with news content. A suitable balance among political and social sensibilities, in particular in the context of news and current affairs programmes should be ensured. New media: while Parliament welcomes the dynamics and diversity brought into the media landscape by the new media and in particular weblogs (blogs) representing a new and important contribution to freedom of expression that is used more and more (both by professionals and individual citizens), their development still needs to be better monitored: Parliament encourages an open discussion on all issues relating to the status of blogs and the protection of copyrights at the level of online media, (with third parties having to mention the source when taking over declarations). Media education: Members stress that media education should be enhanced to provide citizens with the means of bringing critical interpretation to bear on the ever-growing volume of information being imparted to them. This would also enable citizens to select the most appropriate media by allowing them to exercise their rights to the full where freedom of information and expression is concerned. Broadcasting licensing and public channels : the alternative resolution calls on the Commission and the Member States to consolidate an objective framework for granting broadcasting licences in the areas of cable and satellite TV and analogue and digital broadcasting markets, on the basis of transparent and fair criteria, to prevent abuses by companies enjoying monopolies or dominant positions. Parliament reminds the Commission that on several occasions, it has been asked to draw up a directive that would aim to ensure pluralism, encourage and preserve cultural diversity, as well as to safeguard access for all media companies to the technical elements that can enable them to reach the public in its entirety. It invites the Member States to support high-quality public broadcasting services which can offer a real alternative to the programmes of commercial channels and can occupy a more high-profile place on the European scene as pillars of the preservation of media pluralism and democratic dialogue with citizens. Cooperation between European regulatory authorities also needs to be enhanced in the broadcasting sector. Revision of the 2001 communication on state aids: Members call for the revision of the Commission’s 2001 communication concerning the application to public broadcasting services of state aid rules to take due account of the Unesco Convention on cultural diversity and the Recommendation of 31 January 2007 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to Member States on the remit of public service media in the information society. The purpose is to ensure that any proposed measure or clarification is assessed as far as its impact on media pluralism is concerned and duly respects Member States' competences. There is a need to strengthen the role of the public service as an important guarantor of media pluralism in the Union and to enable it to participate freely in technological developments and deriving forms of content production and presentation (in the form of linear and non-linear services). The mandate of public service media should also include appropriate funding of new services. The issue of the spectrum and frequency allocation in the digital context: the resolution considers for the public audiovisual media to fulfil their task in the era of digital technology, it is necessary for them to develop new information services and media over and above traditional programmes and to be able to interact with every digital network and platform. The European Parliament welcomes the implementation in certain Member States of provisions requiring cable television providers to include state-run channels and to allocate a section of the digital spectrum to public providers. It reiterates that the regulation of spectrum use must take account of public interest objectives such as media pluralism and thus cannot be subjected to a purely market based regime. Member States should, therefore, remain responsible for deciding on frequency allocation to serve the specific needs of their societies in particular with respect to safeguarding and promoting media pluralism. Parliament also calls for a balanced approach to the allocation of the digital dividend to ensure equitable access for all players. Data protection: MEPs express concern about the dominant position of a few large online players, which restricts new market entrants and thereby stifles creativity and entrepreneurship in this sector. They call for greater transparency with respect to personal data and information on users stored by internet search engines, email providers and social networking sites. They consider that regulation at EU level sufficiently safeguards the accessibility of electronic programme guides and similar overview and navigation facilities, but that further action could be considered to ensure that services of general interest are easily accessible. For this reason, Parliament calls on the Commission to ascertain whether minimal guidelines or sector-specific regulation are needed to safeguard media pluralism.
  • date: 2008-09-25T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/connect/index_en.htm title: Communications Networks, Content and Technology commissioner: REDING Viviane
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
Old
CULT/6/41838
New
  • CULT/6/41838
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure EP 52
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
procedure/legal_basis/1
Rules of Procedure EP 52-p4
procedure/legal_basis/1
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052-p2
procedure/subject
Old
  • 3.30 Information and communications in general
  • 3.30.02 Television, cable, digital, mobile
  • 3.30.03 Telecommunications, data transmission, telephone
  • 3.30.04 Radiocommunications, broadcasting
  • 3.30.06 Information and communication technologies
  • 3.30.08 Press, media freedom and pluralism
New
3.30.02
Television, cable, digital, mobile
3.30.03
Telecommunications, data transmission, telephone
3.30.04
Radiocommunications, broadcasting
3.30.06
Information and communication technologies, digital technologies
3.30.08
Press, media freedom and pluralism
procedure/title
Old
Media concentration and pluralism in the EU
New
Media concentration and pluralism in the EU
procedure/subject/5
Old
3.30.08 Press, media pluralism
New
3.30.08 Press, media freedom and pluralism
activities
  • date: 2007-01-16T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/sec/2007/0032/COM_SEC(2007)0032_EN.pdf celexid: CELEX:52007SC0032:EN type: Non-legislative basic document published title: SEC(2007)0032 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/connect/index_en.htm title: Communications Networks, Content and Technology Commissioner: REDING Viviane
  • date: 2007-11-29T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Constitutional Affairs committee: AFCO body: EP responsible: True committee: CULT date: 2006-09-11T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: PSE name: MIKKO Marianne body: EP responsible: False committee: ECON date: 2007-06-19T00:00:00 committee_full: Economic and Monetary Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: CHATZIMARKAKIS Jorgo body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee: IMCO body: EP responsible: False committee: ITRE date: 2007-06-26T00:00:00 committee_full: Industry, Research and Energy rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: BELET Ivo body: EP responsible: False committee: LIBE date: 2008-01-31T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: HERRERO-TEJEDOR Luis
  • date: 2008-06-03T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Constitutional Affairs committee: AFCO body: EP responsible: True committee: CULT date: 2006-09-11T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: PSE name: MIKKO Marianne body: EP responsible: False committee: ECON date: 2007-06-19T00:00:00 committee_full: Economic and Monetary Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: CHATZIMARKAKIS Jorgo body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee: IMCO body: EP responsible: False committee: ITRE date: 2007-06-26T00:00:00 committee_full: Industry, Research and Energy rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: BELET Ivo body: EP responsible: False committee: LIBE date: 2008-01-31T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: HERRERO-TEJEDOR Luis type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • date: 2008-07-10T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2008-303&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0303/2008 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2008-09-22T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20080922&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2008-09-25T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=15362&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2008-459 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0459/2008 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
committees
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Constitutional Affairs committee: AFCO
  • body: EP responsible: True committee: CULT date: 2006-09-11T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: PSE name: MIKKO Marianne
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: ECON date: 2007-06-19T00:00:00 committee_full: Economic and Monetary Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: CHATZIMARKAKIS Jorgo
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee: IMCO
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: ITRE date: 2007-06-26T00:00:00 committee_full: Industry, Research and Energy rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: BELET Ivo
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: LIBE date: 2008-01-31T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: HERRERO-TEJEDOR Luis
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/connect/index_en.htm title: Communications Networks, Content and Technology commissioner: REDING Viviane
procedure
dossier_of_the_committee
CULT/6/41838
reference
2007/2253(INI)
title
Media concentration and pluralism in the EU
legal_basis
stage_reached
Procedure completed
subtype
Initiative
type
INI - Own-initiative procedure
subject